The central role of meaning in adjustment to the loss of a child to cancer: Implications for the development of meaning-centered grief therapy Journal Article


Authors: Lichtenthal, W. G.; Breitbart, W.
Article Title: The central role of meaning in adjustment to the loss of a child to cancer: Implications for the development of meaning-centered grief therapy
Abstract: Purpose of review This review describes research on meaning and meaning-making in parents who have lost a child to cancer, suggesting the need for a meaning-centered therapeutic approach to improve their sense of meaning, purpose, and identity and help with management of prolonged grief symptoms. Recent findings Several studies have demonstrated that parents bereaved by cancer experience unique meaning-related challenges associated with the caregiving and illness experience, including struggles with making sense of their loss, benefit-finding, their sense of identity and purpose, disconnection from sources of meaning, and sustaining a sense of meaning in their child's life. Meaning-centered grief therapy, adapted from meaning-centered psychotherapy, directly addresses these issues, highlighting the choices parents have in how they face their pain, how they honor their child and his/her living legacy, the story they create, and how they live their lives. Summary Given the important role that meaning plays in adjustment to the loss of a child to cancer, a meaning-focused approach such as meaning-centered grief therapy may help improve parents' sense of meaning and grief symptoms. It seems particularly appropriate for parents who lost a child to cancer because it does not pathologize their struggles and directly targets issues they frequently face.
Keywords: death; meaning; grief; foundations; distress; randomized controlled-trial; sense; existential; pediatric cancer; complicated grief; posttraumatic growth; narratives; prolonged; bereaved parents; continuing bonds
Journal Title: Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
ISSN: 1751-4258
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins  
Date Published: 2015-01-01
Start Page: 46
End Page: 51
Language: English
ACCESSION: WOS:000348831600009
DOI: 10.1097/spc.0000000000000117
PROVIDER: wos
PMCID: PMC4361184
PUBMED: 25588204
Notes: Review -- Source: Wos
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  1. William S Breitbart
    457 Breitbart
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